Do you ever have a day when you look at your calendar and you want to either
a) cry (guys may not want to admit this, but it’s true for me) OR
b) run away to a remote desert island where they serve unlimited mai tais
because you have back-to-back meetings all day AND a pressing project to finish? This is called stress - too much to do in too little time. Times like this call us to our highest selves, because this is when the rubber hits the road on the spiritual journey.
It’s important to have a list of coping mechanisms in your back pocket, so to speak, in preparation for days like this. Since I had one of those days yesterday, I have compiled this list of things to do the next time it happens. I hope that by writing it down and sharing it with you, both of us can feel better about the next time we face this dilemma.
Here is a list of spiritually mature coping mechanisms for a stressful day:
- Cancel or skip one meeting! Surely there is something in your day that you can give up. Delegate, dismiss or defer the meeting that isn’t both urgent and important. This alone can reduce your stress. Think of it as setting an example for others as a good way to put boundaries on your time.
- Take a moment to go outside. Walk slowly and mindfully, inhaling and exhaling with the rhythm of your step. This can ground you immediately.
- Ring a chime or bell if you can do so without disturbing others. Take that moment to simply listen to the beauty of the sound.
- Stretch. Anyone can stretch right in their chair. Raise your arms above you and reach for the ceiling. Lean your head down over your knees and let your arms relax to the floor.
- Take a moment to meditate or pray. Go to the restroom if you need a moment of privacy. Meditate on your breath or pray a short prayer. This is a means to the end of "praying without ceasing."
- Keep a scripture verse or inspirational saying on a small piece of paper. Put it in your pocket or tack it on your bulletin board. Read it as if you are reading it with your heart. Get lost in its meaning for just a moment. Let its peace invade your being.
- Write or say an affirmation such as, "All my work gets done with ease," or "I finish my tasks with serenity," or "God guides my hands and feet as I do my job."
What are your spiritually mature coping mechanisms for a stressful day? I’d like to hear from you!